After showing signs of his old self in his defeat of Pat Barry at UFC 115 last month legendary fighter Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic gave some indications that this may have been his last fight.
In a new interview with Fighters Only the Croatian admits that he’s still undecided as to whether to retire or not.
“I don’t know. First of all I will take a rest, definitely I will talk with Lorenzo [Fertitta, UFC owner]. I closed this last contract with him and yes I will definitely talk with him. But I really cannot say right now if I will continue fighting.”
Many of Cro Cop’s loyal fans are keeping their fingers crossed that he will continue fighting, but he points out that he already has far more fights under his belt than many others in the sport.
“People say to me, ‘Couture has 46, 47 years and he is still fighting, so you still have many years left’, But people forget, he has had 16 or 17 fights altogether in his career. I have 35 in MMA and 26 in K-1 and then 44 amateur boxing matches before that – I have had three times more fights than Randy. So of course I am not old in years, but believe me, I have been around!” he says.
It appears he’s not entirely given up on the idea of stepping back into the octagon however.
“I think for me to keep fighting, the conditions would have to be right. What I mean by that is, first of all the fights have to be inspiring. It has to be an opponent that makes me inspired to go through eight weeks of hell with [trainer Ivan] Hippolyte.”
So who would he like to fight? Cro Cop apparently has his eyes on three potential opponents.
“I think it means fights with the legends… Randy Couture, Antonio Nogueira and [Gabriel] Gonzaga – definitely Gonzaga. I would like to fight them in that order actually – Couture, Nogueira, Gonzaga.”
I must admit that these kind of fights seems to be fairly reasonable requests. If he had been looking for the likes of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin then that would be totally unrealistic, but guys like Couture and Nogueira are like him heading into the twilight of their careers and so seem like achievable targets. Gonzaga also looks like a decent ‘revenge’ rematch.
Cro Cop also says that money is not the issue, so I don’t see the UFC having any particular problem with what he’s asking for. In fact it probably fits in with their line of thinking and so, even though he is still mulling over his options, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Croatian sensation just yet.